Roger Clemens, supported by bases-empty homers from Dave Sax, Rich Gedman and Dwight Evans, won his seventh straight game as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-2, Sunday at Toronto.
Clemens (24-4) allowed seven hits in eight innings as the Red Sox averted a three-game series sweep and restored their lead to 9 1/2 games over Toronto in the American League East. Their magic number for winning the division is four.
Clemens struck out five batters and walked none. He raised his league-leading strikeout total to 232, lowered his league-leading ERA to 2.55, and became the AL's first 24-game winner since LaMarr Hoyt in 1983.
Clemens, 14-1 this season when pitching after a loss by the Red Sox, was relieved by Calvin Schiraldi, who got his ninth save.
"This was a very big game, we had to have at least one win here," Clemens said.
The Red Sox also announced that pitcher Tom Seaver has a sprained right knee that will cause him to miss his next two starts.
Detroit 3, New York 1--Walt Terrell and Willie Hernandez combined on a five-hitter and Bruce Fields and Pat Sheridan hit RBI singles during a three-run second inning as the Tigers beat the Yankees at Detroit.
Terrell (13-12) gave up four hits and a walk in eight innings. Two of the hits were by Don Mattingly, who homered and extended his hitting streak to 20 games.
Hernandez got his 23rd save as Detroit moved to within one game of the third-place Yankees in the AL East.
Milwaukee 5, Baltimore 4--Charlie Moore scored the winning run in the 11th inning on an error by first baseman Eddie Murray at Baltimore as the Brewers broke a seven-game losing streak.
Milwaukee moved to within 2 1/2 games of the Orioles in the battle to stay out of the A.L. East cellar.
Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver was ejected for the 98th time in his career after an argument with plate umpire Al Clark in the 11th inning.
Texas 2, Minnesota 1--Rookie Bobby Witt earned his fifth straight victory and Ruben Sierra singled in both Texas runs in the third inning as the Rangers beat the Twins at Arlington, Tex.
Witt (9-9) walked four and struck out nine in six innings. Dale Mohorcic and Greg Harris finished, Harris getting his 18th save.
Minnesota pitcher Mark Portugal (5-9) allowed five hits and two walks and struck out 13 batters.
Pete Incaviglia, who has struck out more times than any other rookie in major league history, fanned three more times to move within three of the American League single-season record of 175 shared by Dave Nicholson and Gorman Thomas. Incaviglia struck out three times Saturday night to set the record for a rookie at 169.
Oakland 4, Cleveland 2--Joaquin Andujar allowed eight hits to win his fourth straight game as the A's beat the Indians at Oakland.
Andujar (11-6) struck out six, walked one and threw his sixth complete game. He has four complete games in his last five starts.
Dave Kingman hit his 33rd homer of the season in the eighth off Tom Candiotti (14-12), who allowed eight hits.
Kansas City 8, Seattle 1--Jim Sundberg, Willie Wilson and rookie Kevin Seitzer all hit two-run homers as the Royals beat the Mariners at Seattle.
Charlie Leibrandt (12-11) scattered nine hits for the victory. He struck out six and walked one, helping the Royals to their first victory indoors this season in nine tries.